Five Tips On How To Find A Reputable Literary Agent
You can publish your book without an agent, but after investing a large amount of your time writing your book, it makes sense you’d want a professional to represent you and sell your book to a publishing house. Most publishers don’t accept unsolicited material therefore you need an agent.
An agent can be invaluable to you. They know the ins and outs of the business. They know about royalties and all the legal jargon concerning contracts. They’re knowledgeable on the best publishing houses. Their finger’s always on the pulse of the writing industry, rubbing shoulders with the elite in the business….
The One Literary Agent Interview All Writers Need To Read
I recently had the good fortune of interviewing the literary agent, Mark Gottlieb, who has ranked #1 among Literary Agents on Publishers Marketplace. This interview was an eye opener for me. If you’re an author, trust me, you’re going to want to read it.
Most agent interviews are boring, so with that in mind, I did not ask Mark what his favorite color is or why he became an agent or anything that would put you to sleep. This interview is filled with serious questions that directly matter to you, as an author considering self-publishing or traditional publishing.
If you’ve considered self-publishing and wondered how many units you would need to sell in order to interest a traditional publisher, today you’re going to find out where that number starts.
You might not like all of the answers, but I will tell you this, as an author, youneed to know them. And there are very few agents on the planet that know the answers as well as Mark does. He’s a straight shooter and not interested in blowing any smoke, so strap in and become informed.
Three Steps to Finding the Right Literary Agent
By Taylor Harbin | Sep 26, 2016
Choosing a literary agent is like choosing a babysitter for your baby. You’ll be entrusting your precious work, perhaps even your future as an author, to the hands of a stranger. Whom do you trust? Where do you look?
Here are some tips that will set you on the right path.
Whatever you do, do not type “literary agent” in a search engine and follow whatever links appear.
The best way to find an agent is to use a dedicated resource. There are several good websites, such as Publisher’s Marketplace, Agent Query, Query Tracker, and Agent Hunter. Writer’s Market has a subscription-only website as well as an annual publication.
You’ll also want to check out Predators and Editors, Absolute Write, and Writers’ Beware. These websites are dedicated to helping you avoid the bad agents (P&E also lists some agents who have received positive feedback).
Resource in hand, spend a few days making a list of all the agents you might want to work with. Don’t focus on your current manuscript alone. Think long term. Do you write science fiction and fantasy? Make sure the agent you’re considering represents both genres. You can expand the list by looking at who represented your favorite books (check the acknowledgement section).
Once you’ve completed your list, it’s time to scrutinize. For every agent, consider the following questions:
Are They Open to Unsolicited Queries From First-Time Writers?
This might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s an important question. If the agent does not say they are actively looking for new clients, move on. However, they might work for a large firm with more than one agent. You can use this as a springboard for further research.
Are They Legitimate?
Feature photo credit: https://twitter.com/literary_agents